After a career working as an economic consultant for local governments around the world, council candidate Marten Kruysse is hoping to gain a seat at the other side of the table.
For nearly 35 years, Kruysse has lived in Rossland while providing his expertise to the City of North Vancouver, as well as local governments in South East Asia and the Caribbean. Closer to home, he was the economic development officer for the Regional District of Central Kootenay and served for 10 years on the Board of Directors for Kootenay Savings Credit Union.
“I think I can add some value [as a city councillor] in terms of planning and organization, and bringing some sound financial perspective to the table,” Kruysse says. “I’m committed to working as a team [with mayor and council]. To me, I think having a consensus council is better for the tax payer in the long run.”
Kruysse, age 62 and semi-retired, says he’s excited about many of the new ideas coming from prospective councillors in the lead up to the election and is equally keen to help others bring their ideas to fruition as he is to move forward on his own priorities.
That said, he’s got some lofty items on his list of things he’d like to accomplish when elected. These include:
1. Improving council oversight direction and leadership. Specifically, addressing the fact that the current Chief Administrative Officer is on sick leave and somebody else is acting in the position, which he says, “is not in the best interest of Rossland.”
2. Setting priorities for infrastructure work, and finding innovative ways to fund projects.
3. Evaluating the city’s financial management and looking for ways to generate new sources of revenue and/or cost saving opportunities through things like regionalized recreation services.
In his years as a consultant, Kruysse has seen how simple things like establishing multi-year contracts for paving services or installing LED lights in municipal buildings can save a city thousands (both are examples of successful projects he recommended for North Vancouver).
“If you’re open to fresh ideas and new partnerships, there’s a lot of opportunities out there,” he says.